Braves sign rookie center-fielder Harris to eight-year contract
The Atlanta Braves on Tuesday made a long-term commitment to a player with less than three months of major league experience, as they signed center-fielder Michael Harris II to an eight-year, $72million contract.
The deal runs through 2030 and includes club options for the 2031 and 2032 seasons as well.
Harris becomes the latest core player to be locked up to a long-term deal by the Braves. He will be the fifth Atlanta player signed through at least 2025, along with outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr., second baseman Ozzie Albies, first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Austin Riley.
The 21-year-old Harris, the youngest player in the majors, was called up from Double-A on May 28 and has made a huge impact for the Braves. He is batting .287 with 12 home runs and 39 RBIs, while adding 13 stolen bases and 46 runs in 71 games.
Harris was named National League Rookie of the Month for June after he hit .347 with 13 extra-base hits and four steals.
An outstanding defensive center fielder, Harris’ two-way play has made him a favourite to win NL Rookie of the Year, with teammate Spencer Strider perhaps his chief competitor.
Tuesday’s 5-0 win over the New York Mets improved the Braves to 50-21 since Harris made his debut against the Miami Marlins on May 28. Atlanta pulled to within three-and-a-half games of the NL East-leading Mets with their eighth consecutive victory.